The addition of a skylight can beautifully transform the interior of your home. While adding an extra source of natural light, skylights can also add architectural interest to a room.
When choosing a skylight, look for the same energy features as you would in any replacement window.
An energy-efficient skylight will have a gas-filled insulated glazing unit that is well sealed with a good closing mechanism, if it is an operable model.
Look for a low-emissivity (low-e) coating to improve efficiency. These are windows coated with a transparent layer of metal oxides to block heat from escaping and to radiate them back into the room.
If the skylight is installed in a bathroom or kitchen, ask about condensation gutters. These will handle the condensation that collects on the side of the glass and transfer the moisture to the outside.
Make sure flat, window-styled skylights are made of tempered glass which is more resistant to breakage than regular glass. If you opt for a “dome” style skylight, choose one that is protected from ultraviolet damage.
Another option is sun tunnels or solar tube models, which are perfect for small areas. One homeowner had solar tubes installed in the walk-in closets of her bedroom for natural light. Sun tunnels are also an easier installation than traditional deck-mounted skylights.
Today’s skylights are available in operable and fixed models, and some include factory-installed blinds. Solar-powered motors are also available that eliminate the need for an electrician when installing operable skylights.
When shopping around for a skylight, it is wise to look beyond the price tag. A more expensive model will be worth it if it comes with a better warranty.
A professionally-installed skylight will brighten your home and can even save you money on interior lighting.
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